A gondola ride is certainly one of the experiences on the wish list of those visiting Venice as it allows you to admire all the beauty of our city from a privileged point of view, the characteristic canals.
The gondola is one of the means of transport for getting around Venice, and it is also one of the best known in the world, so much that it is featured in books, films and songs from various epochs.
The features of the Venetian gondola
Despite being about 11 meters long and weighing 600 kg, the Venetian gondola is easily maneuvered by a single gondolier with one oar.
It has an asymmetrical shape, with the left side wider than the right one, and for this reason it assumes a peculiar inclination on one side while navigating.
The gondola is entirely built in wood (there are eight different types) in the traditional squeri, the typical Venetian shipyards for wooden boats, and two metal elements are installed at the bow and stern, respectively the "fero" and the "risso".
The "fero" (“iron” in Italian) is closely linked to the conformation of Venice; the "S" shape evokes the configuration of the Grand Canal. The six-tooth comb represents the different districts (Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, San Polo, Santa Croce, San Marco and Castello), the one facing the opposite side the island of Giudecca; the decorations called "leaves", on the other hand, recall the three major islands of the Northern Lagoon, namely Burano, Murano and Torcello.
The shape of the upper part refers to the typical Doge's hat, called the ducal horn, while the curve, immediately above the six teeth, represents the Rialto Bridge.
On the other hand, the "risso" is placed in the rear, which protects from impacts and is the highest point of the gondola, and, near the gondolier's position, the "forcola", a wooden rowlock typical of Venetian rowing boats.
The hull of the gondola has a flat bottom, a feature that makes the boat very easy to handle and allows you to enter even the lowest canals: it is exclusively black due to the historical use of pitch as a waterproofing agent.
A gondola ride
Currently the gondola is mainly used for tourist purposes, even if there are still some gondola-ferries to cross the Grand Canal from one side to the other.
You will find various gondolier stations in the strategic points of the city; one of the most photographed and crowded is certainly the Bacino Orseolo in the San Marco district. However, if you desire, you can also embark just a few steps from our hotel, near the Accademia Bridge, as well as from various other stations.
The municipal administration has defined fares for the gondolas (daytime rental and ride service, from 9am to 7pm, 30 minutes - € 80.00; night ride, from 7pm to 3am, 35 minutes - € 100.00), but if you want to take longer tours, you can arrange your itinerary directly with the gondolier.
Of course, our staff is at your disposal to support you in organizing this authentic Venetian experience.